Judge permits Instagram to be used to serve court order

Judith Thompson

It was reported in the legal press recently, that a Judge in the Intellectual Property & Enterprise Court allowed the service of a court order upon a defendant, via Instagram.

The court allowed this unusual step to be taken, as the claimant believed the defendant to be out of the country, although they were still active on social media.

This case sets an important precedent for claimants who are seeking to pursue defendants who deliberately make themselves difficult to track down.

It is not unusual for defendants to harassment and libel actions to be based outside the jurisdiction of the English courts and in those cases in particular, where those defendants are regularly active on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it could become more and more common for court papers to be served by those media.

Judith Thompson, Partner at Samuels Solicitors LLP, who deals with reputational management says: “while traditional forms of service of documents, using email, post and personal service will undoubtedly remain in place for the foreseeable future, this new case highlights how the court is increasingly prepared to allow service by alternative means where defendants cannot be traced by any other method”.

At Samuels Solicitors LLP we have a wealth of experience of dealing with litigation claims involving libel, slander, reputation management issues, harassment and any other type of claim which involves online forums and social media.

In some cases, if you have a good prospect of success, we may be able to act for you under the terms of a conditional (no win no fee) agreement.

If you are worried about bringing a claim against a defendant who could be difficult to track down, or if you require assistance bringing a claim in relation to slander, libel or reputation management, contact us today.